Payment processor and electronic payments assurance company Verifone has recently suffered a data breach, concluding that Russian hackers have compromised Verifone payment systems across the United States. While the imminent threat seems to be over, here’s what you need to know:
What does Verifone do?
Verifone technology provides the facilities for payment processing at the point-of-sale (Also known as POS); this is where you swipe your credit or debit card for a transaction.
Companies like Verifone provide the backbone of payment processing in the United States. Because of this, vulnerabilities in Verifone’s systems represent vulnerabilities for customers nationwide whose vendors – including gas stations, convenience stores, or almost anywhere that uses a POS system for transaction processing.
The risk from data breaches like these is that while the vulnerability may now be closed, the information obtained by cybercriminals from these incidents may be used for fraudulent transactions at some point in the future – potentially months or years from now. Because of this, it is always important to monitor your accounts regularly.
What can you do?
The Information Age is one of inherent vulnerabilities, but the most important thing to remember is that commonsense self-monitoring of financial and personal information and with whom and how you share it can go a long way in assuring your information security.
Monitor your financial accounts daily; this includes any bank or credit accounts you may have open, and be sure to check your credit report as often as you’d like – but advisably once a week at websites like Credit Karma where you can obtain a free copy of your credit report.
When you can account for everything on your end, any potential ramifications of data breaches like this can be kept in check by you yourself, and your bank and credit card servicer is obligated to protect you from fraud according to FDIC standards.